What’s the best way to improve your gaming PC’s core temperature? I dunno, take it out in a blizzard? Chinese content creator 苏打baka (opens in new tab) (the name apparently translates to ‘sparkling idiot’, for the non-weebs) is aiming to prove you don’t need LN2 to get your high-end CPU to sub-zero temps. Traipsing through the Northern snow drifts of China’s Mohe city, temperatures hit a record-low of -53°C which has made for some ice-cold PC gaming thermals.
Rather than bundling up inside with a nice cup of tea, 苏打baka decided to use the sub zero temperatures to their advantage, taking an Intel Core i9 13900K (opens in new tab) and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 (opens in new tab) combo gaming PC into the snow for a quick session (via WCCFTech (opens in new tab)).
One of our main concerns where the Intel Core i9 13900K is concerned, was with its core temperature—”Hot” being a major downside we listed. In testing we saw it climb to 94°C max temperatures, and while that’s still lower than the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X’s (opens in new tab) 96°C, it’s going to be a cause for concern if you’re really pushing the boundaries of what this CPU can do for extended periods.
Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 4090 does a little better at least, with 66°C max temps. Still, it’s enough to say you’re going to need some immense cooling to keep up with a machine packing this top-tier combo.
Initial testing of those -53°C winds of Mohe managed to drop an Intel 2nd/3rd Gen CPU gen CPU down to -2°C as a standard operating temperature. And even when faced with an AIDA64 benchmark stress test it topped out at around 3°C with no cooler at all.
Then came the Intel 13th Gen monster, which they tested with an AIO cooler. For a short time anyway. That subsequently froze and became totally useless, but when replaced with a Noctua NH-P1 passive heatsink, and a bizarre, whining array of tiny industrial fans, the CPU dropped to around 10–15°C. With that kind of headroom, 苏打baka saw the chip itself run up to 6.18GHz, despite the max P-core Turbo frequency being rated at 5.8GHz.
As for the RTX 4090, well that stayed at around -40°C temperatures, with a maximum temperature of 30°C under full load—which was achieved through playing *checks notes* Minesweeper?
A strange choice of game, and probably a joke considering the jump in temperatures. Either way, this at least confirms the creator’s not such a sparkling idiot after all. If you’re having temperature issues, just fly out to northern China for a spell. Easy.